Europe;Europe's banks; The fear factor; Preventing a big European bank run;
In continental capitals and bank boardrooms there is a common fear. It is that the slow jog of deposits leaving banks in Greece and, more recently, Spain, may turn into a full-blown run that quickly spreads from bank to bank, and then from country to country. There have already been some warning signs, such as a sudden acceleration of deposit outflows from Greek banks in May.
在歐洲大陸各國首府和銀行的董事會議室里彌漫著一種擔憂。 希臘各大銀行的存款量正在平緩流失, 新近西班牙各銀行也陷入同樣境況, 這很有可能會轉變成一場全面的銀行擠兌風暴, 并迅速在銀行乃至國家之間傳播。 對此已早有征兆, 五月份希臘各銀行的存款外流驟然加速就是例證。
A fierce debate is now taking place as to the best way to avert a run that, if it started, might be difficult to contain and could lead to massive capital flight from the euro zone's peripheral countries, which have 1.8 trillion Euro(2.2 trillion Dollar) in household deposits (see chart). Increasing numbers of people think the answer is greater financial integration. On May 30th the European Commission said there ought to be “full economic and monetary union, including a banking union; integrated financial supervision and a single deposit guarantee scheme”.
目前, 關于如何最為有效地防止一場全面風暴正引起一場激烈爭論。 因為擠兌一旦開始蔓延, 可能難以遏制, 而且可能導致歐元區邊緣國家出現大量資本流失, 而這些國家家庭存款擁有量達1.8萬億歐元(即2.2萬億美元)。(如圖所示)。 越來越多的人認為應該加強歐元區金融一體化。 5月30日, 歐盟委員會指出應建立"全面的經濟與貨幣聯盟, 包括銀行業的聯盟; 以及完整統一的金融監督和單一存款保障計劃"。
The first step is to shore up confidence in the region's banks by making sure they have enough capital to withstand a crisis. It is far cheaper to recapitalise banks, after all, than to stand behind all of their deposits. Yet such efforts have been bungled time and again. Europe has twice over the past two years tried to reassure depositors and investors that its banks are sound by subjecting them to “stress tests” that were supposed to mimic an economic downturn. In each case the tests were soon followed by revelations of deep capital holes in some banks (newly nationalised Bankia among them). Since some national regulators have lost the confidence of markets, they are having to bring in outsiders to assess how much capital their banks need.
第一步, 要通過確保區域內各銀行有足夠的資金能夠抵御一次經濟危機, 以此增強銀行的信心. 畢竟, 調整銀行資本結構相比保障各銀行的存款量, 所需代價要小的多。 然而這樣的努力卻一再以失敗告終。 在過去兩年中, 歐洲曾兩次嘗試讓各銀行在一場摹擬的經濟危機中接受"壓力測試", 證明這些銀行都運作良好安全可靠, 試圖以此恢復儲戶和投資者們的信心。 但緊接著這兩次壓力測試之后均有消息曝出某些銀行存在嚴重的資金缺口(其中包括一些新近被收歸國有的銀行)。 因為一些國家監管機構已經失去市場的信任, 他們正被迫請一些機構外的人士來參與評估這些銀行所需資金量。
Actually raising the capital is the next big problem for countries such as Spain or Italy, which are already struggling to convince markets that their public debt is sustainable. Ideally it should come from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), Europe's new bail-out fund, as a direct capital injection into banks rather than as loans to governments, which then use the money to recapitalise their ailing lenders.
實際上, 募集資金是西班牙, 意大利等國家面臨的下一個大問題, 他們已經在費盡心思希望說服市場相信其國債的可持續性。 理想的辦法是, 他們所需資金能由歐洲穩定機制(ESM)提供, 作為歐洲新的緊急財政援助基金給銀行直接注資而非貸款給政府部門, 然后再利用這些資金對其陷入困境的銀行進行資本結構調整。
Injecting capital is politically difficult. Core countries such as Germany fret they will lose a lever of influence over government policies in peripheral countries by handing over equity. They also stand a greater chance of losing money if the ESM takes on the risk of bank investing, not least because they know even less about the balance-sheets of individual lenders than those of national governments. Peripheral countries are less than keen on handing ownership of important banks to bureaucrats in Brussels. And unless the capital is accompanied by supervisory reforms, local regulators may encourage banks to lend more freely at home since the risk of loss will have been exported.
直接注資從政治上講很難實施。 德國等核心國家擔心一旦轉付資金他們就會失去其在邊緣國家政府政策制定方面的影響力。 如果ESM冒險給銀行注資, 他們面臨經濟損失的風險會更大, 相當重要的原因是他們本來對各銀行資產負債表的了解比對各政府的資產負債表的了解還要模糊。 各邊緣國家也不想將他們重要銀行的所有權交給布魯塞爾的官僚們。 并且注資同時如不進行監督機制改革, 當地監管機構可能會鼓勵銀行更多地為本國個人或機構提供貸款, 因為損失的風險會被輸出。
Recapitalising banks would not put the catch on every trigger for a run, however. The worry among depositors is not just that their bank will go bust, it is also that their deposits in euros may overnight turn into a less valuable currency. So savers in the periphery would need some additional reassurance that their money is safe.
盡管如此, 銀行的資本結構調整不會觸發擠兌危機. 儲戶們擔心他們的存款銀行會破產, 同時也害怕他們以歐元為計算單位的存款會在一夜之間貶值。 因此, 要讓邊緣國家的儲戶相信他們的存款是安全的還需要一些其他的安撫措施。
The job of providing this extra comfort usually falls to national deposit-insurance funds, ideally ones that are prefunded with assets worth about 1.5% of insured deposits, as is the case in America and Europe. If a medium-sized bank goes bust, prefunded schemes can usually pay depositors immediately; European countries insure qualifying deposits up to 100,000 Euro. For big banks, or for systemic crises, funds are usually backed by their governments.
這項額外的安撫工作通常是由國家存保機構來完成的. 按照美國和歐洲的當前情況, 最好是預先撥款資金額等同于承保存款額的1.5%. 如果一家中等規模的銀行倒閉, 預先撥款計劃可以立即啟動, 對儲戶進行償付, 歐洲國家對符合投保要求的存款承保上限為10萬歐元。 至于大銀行破產或涉及整個金融系統的危機, 則由政府出資解決。
Such schemes are fine in normal times, but do not do much to reassure people that their deposits won't be repaid in a different currency (or that their money will be safe if their own government cannot stand behind the scheme). That has prompted calls for a European insurance fund which would guarantee repayment in euros. The idea is appealing, but the politics and logistics of a credible guarantee are daunting.
這樣的計劃在一般情況下是沒有問題, 但要使人們相信他們的存款不會通過另一種貨幣來償還則作用不大.(如果他們的政府都無法支撐起這樣的計劃, 他們也就很難相信他們的存款是安全的). 這就使得必須有一種歐洲保險基金能夠擔保在存款償付時使用歐元。 這種想法是十分吸引人的, 但實施一項可信的擔保計劃涉及的政治事務和組織工作卻令人望而生畏。
Household and corporate deposits across the euro area total some 7.6 trillion Euro. Assuming you wanted to limit the insurance to household deposits only, the figure is still 5.9 trillion Euro. Not all of this would be covered by a guarantee. A European Commission study in 2010 reckoned that 72% of deposits (and 95% of deposit accounts) fall under the 100,000 Euro limit. What's more, a European fund would not have to be big enough to deal with simultaneous deposit runs across all of Europe but only with ones in the periphery, since money would presumably flow to banks in core countries such as Germany. So the fund would have to be big enough to cover only some 1.3 trillion Euro in insured deposits in the periphery.
整個歐元區的家庭與企業存款總和達7.6萬億歐元。 假使你只為家庭存款提供擔保, 承保金額也達5.9萬億。 這些存款不會都得到擔保。 歐盟委員會2010年的一項研究推測有72%的存款(95%的儲蓄賬戶)在10萬歐元承保限額的范圍之內。 更重要的是, 歐盟基金無需龐大到足以應付歐洲各國同時發生存款流失危機,僅需足夠應付邊緣國家發生的此類情況即可。 因為存款應該是流向德國等核心國家銀行的。 如此一來, 歐盟基金就只需足夠擔保邊緣國家大約1.3萬億存款。
The question then is how much of that amount a prefunded scheme would have to set aside. Economists at Citigroup reckon that a fund ought to start with a baseline of 2% of insured deposits, and then top up that amount with an additional premium to reflect the risk that peripheral countries may leave the euro and that their currencies would then depreciate. Assuming a less-than-10% chance of all the peripheral countries leaving, and that when they did their currencies would fall by 30%, a prefunded scheme would need 154 billion Euro-198 billion. Such a fund should ordinarily be financed by a small insurance premium on deposits, but since the money is needed to restore confidence now, it would have to be backed by the ESM.
問題在于這項預先撥款計劃需要撥出多少資金。 花旗銀行經濟學家認為這筆資金必須以承保存款總額的2%為下限, 再在此基礎上加上一個風險溢價, 用以反映邊緣國家可能退出歐元區及其貨幣隨之貶值的風險。假定所有邊緣國家都退出歐元區的可能性低于10%, 且他們一旦退出, 他們的貨幣會貶值30%, 那么這項預先撥款計劃將需要1540-1980億資金。 這樣一筆資金通常是由小型存款保險費來支付, 但現在正需要錢用來重塑儲戶信心, 導致這筆資金只能由ESM來提供。
Again, none of this is easy to achieve. Banks and voters in core countries (let alone Britain, whose position in a more integrated European banking system is very muddy) would be reluctant to insure peripheral deposits. Without beefed-up European supervision, it could lead to banks taking too many risks. Critics say that even a prefunded scheme would soon be depleted were a run to take hold. But a flawed scheme would be better than nothing.
不過, 這一切完成起來都是困難重重. 各核心國家的銀行和當權者們(英國更不用提, 在日益完整統一的歐洲銀行體系中, 其地位十分撲塑迷離)都不愿意為邊緣國家的存款提供保障.不增強歐盟的監管職能, 可能會導致銀行承擔太多風險。 批評家們稱形勢一旦惡化, 即便是預先撥款計劃也會被迅速耗盡。 但是一項有缺陷的計劃總要好過什么都不做。